High Tech/ High Touch

by Marianne Richmond on November 2, 2005

An article in the WSJ  entitled, "The First Online War Honors Fallen
Troops with Web Tributes" caught my eye this morning. I thought it was
going to be about blogging and although it mentions military blogs it is really about the power of the web to immerse us totally in the reality of events by giving us access to the people experiencing it, who touch us so deeply that we become emotional participants, rather than spectators in these events.

It is one thing to read about the number of casualties in the war in Iraq (2,000 as of last week). The article mentions web sites that show maps of where the dead soldiers are from, and web sites that "sort" them by age, but the emotional engagement really begins on the sites that show their faces. We can, of course become engaged in this manner by reading magazines, newspapers, and watching TV. But, as the WSJ says,

"If you want to have your heart not just touched but ripped apart, visit the Moving Tributes section of Legacy.com, a Web business that hopes to become a national online clearinghouse for obituaries… is a free service that allows families
and friends of dead soldiers to create short multimedia memorials… {and} narrate a
personal remembrance"

The result is not just photos of the dead soldiers, but you are sharing the "the living room photo albums of lives ending early." Emerson wrote, Genius is saying what is in your heart because it is in everyone’s heart." Visit this site, you will feel what is in the hearts of these families…in your heart. High tech/high touch.


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